A day after posting its biggest drop in nearly two months, the Sensex inched up by 17 points to 24,900.63 on Wednesday on value-buying in beaten-down stocks amid mixed global cues.
Market opened on a slightly positive note and remained volatile throughout the day, although in a very narrow range.
In line with the overall trend, the broader markets too displayed a better mood with small-cap index rising 0.91% and mid-cap gaining 0.60%.
Meanwhile, in a significant uptrend, private sector manufacturing and services activities surged to a 37-month high in March on new business orders even as job growth remained sluggish, a monthly survey showed.
Oil’s 3% rise on Kuwait’s assurance that output freeze would proceed without Iran, also helped the cause.
“With global markets in limbo ahead of FOMC minutes as well as caution ahead of US earnings, Indian stocks failed to gain traction,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas.
On the day, Sensex resumed slightly higher at 24,978.86 and hovered in a range of 25,000.65 to 24,834.16 before ending at 24,900.63, a marginal rise of 17 points or 0.07%.
The gauge had slumped 516 points on Tuesday, its biggest single-day fall since February 11, after RBI cut repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% at its first bi-monthly policy review for 2016-17, which was widely expected by the market.
The NSE Nifty ended 11.15 points or 0.15% higher at 7,614.35 after shuttling between 7,638.65 and 7,591.75.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Steel emerged as top gainer by climbing 5.24% to Rs 328.45 after the steel giant got Centre’s green panel nod for Odisha mining project and reports the British government opened talks with potential buyers for the company’s UK operations.
Meanwhile, foreign investors, which had been net buyers on the bourses sold shares worth Rs 800.79 crore on Tuesday.
Overseas, Asia witnessed a mixed trend with the Shanghai Composite ending nearly flat, Hang Seng rising 0.15%, Singapore moving up 0.37%, Korea gaining 0.44%, while Taiwan and Nikkei dropped 1.67% and 0.11%, respectively. Europe too edged up with oil boosting key indexes like the UK’s FTSE and France’s CAC by up to 0.57%, while Germany’s Dax fell 0.20%.
Back home, of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips rose while 11 declined. Major gainers were, Tata Steel (5.24%), Tata Motors (1.81%), Lupin (1.54%), Bharti Airtel (1.47%), Larsen (1.22%), Sun Pharma (1.13%) and BHEL (1.06%).
However, Axis Bank fell by 1.71% followed by Infosys (1.44%) ICICI Bank (1.20%) Adani Ports (1.19%) and NTPC (0.75%).
Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, metal rose by 2.33%, capital goods (1.11%), industrials (1.02%), telecom (0.96%), realty (0.76%), oil&gass (0.62%), power (0.53%), energy (0.46%) and healthcare (0.36%).
While, IT fell by 0.51%, banking by 0.44% and teck by 0.29%. The market breadth turned positive as 1,656 stocks ended higher, 890 declined, while 142 ruled unchanged. The total turnover fell to Rs 2,206.24 crore from Rs 2,853.41 crore on Tuesday.